Fertility doctors: Talking to your doctor about fertility
Infertility is common, affecting around 1 in 6 couples.
If a couple hasn't conceived after a year of having regular unprotected sex, seek medical advice.
As a woman's fertility declines with age, women over 36 or those who suspect they have fertility problems should seek medical advice sooner.
Depending on the results of tests and investigations, a referral may be recommended to a fertility specialist, gynaecologist, or men's health specialist.
There are strict criteria for NHS fertility treatment, and access to services and waiting lists varies from area to area.
If private treatment is being considered, remember to ask about the full cost of treatment and success rates.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) can help with information on choosing a private fertility clinic.
10 important questions to ask your fertility doctors
- Could lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, stress, or age be affecting my fertility?
- Might my job or my partner's job be contributing to our problems?
- Are there any non-medical approaches, such as relaxation or meditation techniques, that could improve my chances of becoming pregnant?
- Is it important to proceed with an infertility evaluation now, or should we wait a while longer?
- What specific tests would you recommend to diagnose our infertility, and are they available on the NHS?
- What are the treatment options for our suspected diagnosis, and are they available on the NHS?
- How much of the cost of fertility treatments or testing is covered by the NHS?
- What is the national success rate, in terms of live births, for each of these treatments?
- How many procedures of the type that you are recommending has this fertility clinic performed, and what is its success rate in terms of live births?
- Can you help put us in touch with a support group for couples living with infertility?